You may have heard the term Delamination before, but not really know exactly what it means. Delamination refers to a kind of mechanical failure in composite materials and steel. It’s characterised by the separation of a material into subsequent layers, therefore no longer being one solid object, but rather multiple; ultimately resulting in an unusable material.
With the large usage of composite and steel materials within the construction industry, it’s a fair concern. Part of what makes delamination so worrying is how insidious it is, in that it is a failure that occurs within the material; rarely seen on the surface making diagnosing the defect sometimes quite difficult.
The phenomenon can be caused due to a number of reasons and the impact it can have on a project can be devastating. Delamination causes the effected material(s) to lose a great deal of their strength, making their presence in a structure virtually useless.
Some common causes for Delamination are:
It is essential to stay vigilant when any defects present themselves in general, but even more so in the case of composite materials, as delamination usually appears alongside most other defects that affect these materials.
Most often, the only way to solve an issue involving delamination will involve the reconstruction/replacement of the material(s) that have delaminated.
There are a few ways to diagnose whether something is being affected by delamination however, most methods are destructive and involve invasive methodology to make the determination. A few non-destructive methods of ascertaining whether a material is being affected are to listen to the acoustics of the material in question. This can be done with the use of speciality equipment, or by getting someone who is experienced to generate a sound from the material (usually by tapping it with a hammer), and determining if the sound that comes back is ‘hollow’.
Delamination is a defect that we often come across and solve here at BellMont. If you’re in need of any diagnostic or remedial consultation do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you resolve your issues.
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